Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Research Shows Just How Much We Hate Winners

12.02.2002


New research by economists at the Universities of Warwick and Oxford has provided surprising information on just how much people hate a winner. It also shows what lengths human beings are prepared to go to damage a winner out of a sense of envy or fairness.



The researchers, Professor Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick and Dr Daniel Zizzo of Oxford, designed a new kind of experiment, played with real cash, where subjects could anonymously “burn” away other people’s money - but only at the cost of giving up some of their own money. Despite this cost to themselves, and contrary to economists’ usual assumptions, 62% of those tested chose to destroy part of other test subjects’ cash. In the experiment, half of all the laboratory earnings were deliberately destroyed by fellow subjects.

Everyone in the laboratory sessions was anonymous and hidden. The subjects had only a computer terminal, into which they played, and in which they could see how much other people were winning.
In each session, the test subjects began with a betting stage which gave them some money (about 10 pounds but sometimes much more) creating an unequal wealth distribution.



In the final stage, the “burning” stage, subjects could if they wished eliminate (“burn away”) other people’s money – but only by giving up some of their own cash winnings. At the most expensive level, they had to give up 25 pence to destroy 1 full pound owned by someone else. It was made clear to the subjects that burning others would reduce the cash of the person choosing to burn.

The economists expected little burning, and especially that the laboratory subjects would stop destroying other people’s money once the price reached 0.25, but in fact they found that even this high price did little to stop people annihilating other people’s wealth. Most individuals still chose to hurt others, despite the large cost to their own pocket.

The researchers found that those given who gained the most additional money at the betting stage, burned poor and rich alike , however disadvantaged laboratory subjects mainly targeted those subjects that they saw getting what they perceived as undeserved financial windfalls. The authors concluded that “our experiment measures the dark side of human nature”.

Peter Dunn | alphagalileo

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Stealth Virus for Cancer Therapy
31.01.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New formulas for exploring the age structure of non-linear dynamical systems
23.01.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>